You are viewing 1 of your 2 free articles

You’ll need to join us by becoming a member to gain more access.
Already a Member?

Login Join us now

Rachel Lewis-Davies: Over the wall farming on a visit to the Peak District


I write this month’s article from the pretty Derbyshire village of Ashford-on-the-Water in the Peak District, which we are visiting for couple of days to celebrate Bob’s BIG FIVE-O.

Twitter Facebook

The fact he has even agreed to come away is a sign he is getting older I think! Having not visited this part of the world before, we have been struck by the stunning views and lovely villages. The open countryside and minor roads mean the area lends itself to the ‘over the hedge or wall’ farming and it is clear and good to see the landscape has been shaped and is maintained by a strong farming industry.


During a visit to Chatsworth, and with delusions of grandeur, I note the similarities with my own humble abode. I too enjoy a fabulous outlook of the surrounding countryside, am able to boast a specimen of the rare Weeping Ash in the grounds and note people have also taken ‘trailing’ around my house in their outdoor footwear – I only wish I could charge for the privilege like the Duke and Duchess.


There is plenty of grass up here just as ours seems to have disappeared over the last couple of weeks, having to buy-in fodder for the cattle. Probably a case of ‘too many mouths’, we have observed a notable difference this spring in the performance of the new leys and also the limed ground, highlighting the need to keep progressing the improvements apace, or at least as soon as we can afford to do them.

Work placement

Our daughter Ceri, on work placement on a dairy unit in Pendine, Carmarthenshire, since February, comes home this week returning to Gelli Aur to complete year one of the agriculture course.


Her three-month experience has been thoroughly enjoyed, and has had a transformational effect with plans to purchase some Holstein bull calves to rear over the summer. This will involve a bit of re-jigging at home and we now plan to grow some kale so we can outwinter the Welsh Black heifers to free up the shed space.


All in all, it is wonderful to see Ceri so enterprising and sincere, thanks must go to the Evans family and their staff, in particular herdsman Lisa – a more inspirational woman in agriculture you could not wish to meet. Diolch yn fawr i pawb.


Twitter Facebook
Rating (0 vote/s)
Post a Comment
To see comments and join in the conversation please log in.

More Insights

Fresh approach gives boost to maize yields

An increase in cow numbers and the desire to have sufficient maize to ensure year round feeding meant the Roberts family had to fundamentally review their approach to growing the crop. Jeremy Hunt reports.

Pedigree herd at heart of Swiss family farm

Small is beautiful in Swiss agriculture but farming life is thriving. Chloe Palmer meets farmer Thomas Roffler to find out more about dairying in the Swiss Alps.

Wagyu beef sells for more than £788/kg

There is increasing your herd, then there is the Mayura Station, Australia, where 7,000 Wagyu cows are on their way to being doubled. James Wagstaff finds out more about the ambition and aims of the de Bruin family and finds out why customers are paying huge money to eat their beef.

'Together, we have achieved against all odds'

Volunteers who’ve gone above and beyond in their quest to reduce poverty in some of the world’s most marginalised communities, were honoured recently at a ceremony in London. Winning the VSO International Award was retired dairy farmer Simon Hall and wife Judith. Here he recalls the extraordinary experience they shared in their two years in Nepal working with the rural community.

Local focus driving West Moor House Farm's sales

Rob and Penny Paisley could not have timed it better to develop their herd of Beef Shorthorns, and for the past decade they have ridden the wave of popularity the breed has enjoyed. They tell Marie-Claire Kidd how the Shorthorn’s position in their business has grown and evolved, driven by their fondness for these biddable cattle.
FG Insight and FGInsight.com are trademarks of Briefing Media Ltd.
Farmers Guardian and FarmersGuardian.com are trademarks of Farmers Guardian Ltd, a subsidiary of Briefing Media Ltd.
All material published on FGInsight.com and FarmersGuardian.com is copyrighted © 2016 by Briefing Media Limited. All rights reserved.
RSS news feeds